Warning Signs of Suicide

I thought this was worthy of re-post, from Annie at gentlekindnessblog. Thank you Annie for sharing this info.

GentleKindness

suicide

This is a great poster that lists the warning signs of suicide, It is good for us to review this list from time to time. It is easy to become complacent or just used to someone’s depression. When the depression takes a turn even further down the hole we need to be careful.

suicide glad you exist

If you know someone that has some of these warning signs, please pay attention to them. If you are unaware of resources for help or what to do send me a note in the comment section below.

You can get a lot of info from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.

suicide lifeline

This is also a connection for people who feel they might be suicidal. It is the best site I have found on the web but not the only one. If you need help, reach out to as many people and places you can. Don’t give up.

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Laughing to Cope

Image Credit: dailymail.co.uk Huu Hung Truong: 2013 Sony World Photography Awards


A-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

…ahhh

LMAO!


I connected with a wonderfully bubbly woman when I was at one of my lowest lows.  We met quite by chance and immediately clicked like we were life-long friends.  We were in the same boat, she and I, both at extreme low points in our lives, both under the influence of uncontrollable tears, fears and the urge to hurt ourselves and end our lives.

But we laughed.  I didn’t understand it, and I really didn’t care, but oh boy, we laughed.

We laughed at everything, funny things, stupid things, serious things and of course, we laughed at ourselves.

Of everything that I have experienced, laughing with this woman was the most healing during a very dark and difficult time.

Laughing kept me from crying.

Laughing kept me from thinking.

Laughing shook my body and kept me present because I was feeling and experiencing.

Laughing made it easier to cope when I felt that I had nothing left in me for another day.

Laughing relieved some my pain inside, releasing it through positive emotions rather than through tears.

Thankfully, my brain functions normally in releasing feel good endorphins when stimulated by laughter.  I felt good even though I felt like dying.

People looked at us and shook their heads.  They couldn’t understand how we could still laugh, knowing the condition of our mental state.

Did we disturb others with our ruckus?

We probably did, but it helped us to cope, and it helped us to get through.

Laughing Buddha

This holiday season give yourself the gift of laughter.

Wouldn’t it be great to go see a comedy show?  Is there a comedy club near you?

Maybe go see a comedy play or movie.

Have no one to go with?  Don’t let that stop you.  Go anyway.  It might do you good!

It’s always better to get out, but if you can’t, than treat yourself with a movie rental, make some popcorn and enjoy it at home.

Pursue that good hard belly laugh!

Go ahead!  It’ll be good!

Or do it if only to prove me wrong and be sure to let me know about it!

Cheers!

She Is So Worthy Of Saving

Mary sobbed uncontrollably as she looped the flimsy rope over the ceiling beam in her bedroom.  She was a small girl and the rope should be strong enough to hold her, she thought.  Her heart clenched tight with anguish.  Crushing pain racked her little body.   She just had to push away the chair she was standing on, and hopefully the pain will stop.  The pain will stop, it had to!

She just wanted the pain to stop.

She couldn’t handle it anymore, she hurt so much.

She didn’t want to hurt anymore.

She didn’t want to feel alone anymore.

She didn’t want to feel like a failure anymore.   She didn’t want to feel her father’s disappointment in her anymore.   The pressures of being 12 years old were so overwhelming.  She could never live up to what everybody wanted of her.

She just wanted to die.

Good bye Daddy.  Good bye Mommy.  Good bye little brother Jay.  She cried even harder thinking about her family.  They wouldn’t miss her anyway.

“Mary! Dinner!”  Mary heard her mom calling her for dinner.  She collapsed into a bawling heap on the ceramic floor.  Oh my God!  Oh my God!  Please help me!

Mary’s next attempt at suicide was when she was 16 years old.  She left school in the middle of the day, took the bus home and overdosed on a bottle of pills she had been saving, waiting for the right time.  She was hospitalized and discharged after a few weeks.

At 19 years old, Mary went away to University.  She had been so happy the summer before her university days were to begin, and so ready to set out on her own.  Her life as an adult was upon her, she was ecstatic and so very optimistic about her future.  She had a wonderful man in her life who adored her.  Her grades were among the honors, and she was attending one of the top universities in the country.  She was young, and beautiful, bubbling with life and vitality.  Her parents were supporting her through university.  Everything was good and right in her life.

Except it wasn’t.

She had hoped that she had outgrown the angst and pain of her teenage years.  She had thought those days were behind her.

She was wrong.

The pressures of being alone in a foreign city without her loved ones intensified her feelings of being alone.  There were high expectations of her to perform and achieve beyond her successful parents’ accomplishments.  The deep abyss of pain began to gnaw at her insides until she could not hold it in any longer.  She began to cut her arms to relieve some of the pain inside.  Before long, she was suicidal and had to be returned to her parents’ home and then hospitalized.

She was finally diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder with Borderline Personality Disorder.  She was treated and discharged with a plan to continue treatment and community support.   She cheerfully wished everyone a hearty farewell, and happily skipped out of the hospital with nary a backward glance.

At 2 in the morning, four days after her discharge from the hospital, Mary called a friend she had recently bonded with from the hospital, sobbing that she couldn’t handle it anymore.  She abruptly hung up and her friend could not get a hold of her after.  After repeated attempts of calling her cellphone, with no response, the friend knew she had to find a way to reach her.  In a panic, the friend called the local directory, and guessed the names of her parents which her home phone number could be listed under.  Luckily, the friend was able to reach Mary’s father and asked him to check on Mary.  They found Mary overdosed and unconscious, but thankfully still alive. 

Mary’s parents, though educated and loved her very much, floundered in their effort to understand and support her in her illness.  They couldn’t understand her depression, because her life was full and advantageous compared to so many others who were less fortunate.  She had everything anyone could want.  Their attempts to raise her spirits and motivate her, only added to her frustration and feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood.

I see so much of my younger self in Mary; Her feelings, her experiences, her attempts, and her struggle to live and die. 

I wish I could tell her that it will get better. 

I wish I could tell her that those awful feelings of despair and wanting to die will go away and never come back.  

I wish I could tell her that there is a magic little pill that makes everything right and happy again.

But the truth is, I can’t say with any kind of conviction that things will get better, not when I am struggling everyday with those same feelings of hopelessness.

I can only tell her that she will learn to cope better with the illness, learn to cope better with the feelings, with the pain, and with the intruding thoughts that make her feel so small and want to die.

I can tell her that there will be extreme lows in her mood, and they may not be preventable every time, but she can learn to recover quicker from those lows, so that this miserable burden becomes easier to bear.

I can her that there will not only be lows, but highs as well, because life can still be enjoyed when she has good days, weeks, months, or even years without any hint of darkness or despair.  It can happen.

Depression is treatable. 

Mary is now only 19 years old, still so young.  There is still so much she can do, still so much of life yet to experience.  Even with this mental illness, and the dismal outlook that inherently comes with it, she can still have a full and complete life.  Yes, there will be dark days, but there is help and support to brace and carry her through those difficult days.  There are people who love her, and care for her, even though she feels unworthy.

I want to tell Mary that it is okay to ask for help, and accept that help when she can no longer cope with the illness.  In fact, it is preferable that she reach out for help, rather than succumb to the darkness in isolation.  I want Mary to hear me tell her that she is so worthy of saving, because she has so much light and love to offer the world.

Stay strong Mary.

You will laugh and enjoy the light again soon.  And there are still many hours of twerking yet to be done!

Post script:

Mary is a real person and her story is true.  I have changed her name and called her “Mary” to give her anonymity and respect her privacy.

In The Garden Of Hope

In the garden of hope, as in any garden, there are seeds and weeds.

What kind of seeds?

What kinds of weeds?

The seeds of hope, of believing that something good lies ahead.  

The weeds of negativity, and parasites that feed on the life energy so essential to nourishing the fragile seeds and seedlings newly sprouted.

I have written before that hope is not enough, and that hope is just a beginning, a good place to start.

How do we, or how can we help that hope to grow?

We must feed the seed that which we wish to grow, and create a nurturing environment for the seedling to continue to flourish after it has sprouted.

We must remove weeds that steal hope’s essential nutrients simply by being present in the garden.

Remove the pedestrians who would happily trample all over our precious seedlings, restrict them to tiny pathways that interfere not with life in the garden.

Remove the giant thistles that have dug their roots deep into your garden soil (soul), greedily stealing all the light.

Feed that little seed of hope, talk to it like it was the most precious seed in the world, and give it lots of love.  Give it every opportunity to grow by bringing in the best and the brightest to teach it the skills it needs to grow strong and stand tall.

And of course, every little sprout needs a cheerleader, to unconditionally cheer on it’s progress and growth, if for nothing else than to see it’s full beauty in bloom.

To all my readers who are making their way through the darkness right now, I send you my love and blessings of light.

“Making Your Way In The World Today Takes Everything You Got”


Making your way in the world today takes everything you got;

Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?”

Theme song lyrics from “Cheers”, American Television Sitcom 1982-1993


For some of us, there is no taking a break from all our worries, because the worries are inside us, inside our heads, wreaking havoc inside our minds.

A reader asked me recently if I carry on in the hope that the Depression lifts.

I can only reply that I can only do my best on any given day.

I carry on, not in the hope that the depressions lifts.  I carry on for the exquisite rays of light that occasionally pierces through the darkness, and for the moments of love and happiness that brighten my world now and then.  I have seen the splendour and magnificence of beauty and joy.  That is what keeps me going.

Is that enough?

Who knows what’s on the other side life?  Maybe we take the pain with us if we die while in the grips of despair.   Wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony, committing suicide because of the need to stop the pain, only to writh in that pain into perpetuity?

Everyone has ups and downs.  No one is in perpetual bliss.  Even the brightest flames diminish in the dampening rain.

For people with Depression however, the downs are much deeper and darker than for others.  The rain becomes a torrential hurricane complete with tsunami tidal wave.

I have learned to ride the emotional coaster better, by being aware of the pattern of ups and downs.  It helps to have an arsenal of coping tools in my self-management toolbox to help me get through the lowest times; everything from spiritual healing to comedy relief and everything in between.  I have also learned that it’s O.K. reach out and ask for help.

I used to question what it was all for, the constant struggle that is life.

Survival?

But why?

Procreation?

I have procreated.  Does that mean I am done?

What’s the point?

According to Oprah Winfrey;


“The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.”


For me, for now, I am the person that I am; faulty, flawed and imperfect, trying to embrace with gratitude every small moment of joy I am given, before I am drawn under again by the next wave of darkness that hits.

I don’t make excuses for the way that I am anymore, and I don’t apologize either, for the sudden tears, or the occasional need for a small retreat from the world.  I don’t make excuses for needing to take medications to stabilize my mental health.  I don’t make excuses for needing support to get me through sinkholes in the road.

Do I want to evolve into the “complete person” I was intended to be? photo 3 (7)

What does that even mean?

Or maybe I have evolved, and this is the complete person I am intended to be this go round.  Imperfectly perfect.

I can accept that, or, I can continue searching, discontent in mind, body and spirit, straining and craving to change into some intangible “complete” entity I am told I should aspire to.

There is only one answer that makes sense right now.

“… grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time…”

~Reinhold Niebuhr

An Exercise in Self-Affirmation

When living with Anxiety and Depression, it is often so difficult to see the beauty and worth in ourselves.  The brain is faulty in its operation, being deprived of essential nutrients associated with low levels of serotonin, it skews our attention towards negativity and sadness.  So we have to use everything at our disposal to be the best that we can be.

A very powerful tool is the self-affirmation; the recognition and assertion of the existence of one’s individual self.

Here is a great positive self-affirmation exercise that I came across on my journey of healing.  Take a few minutes right now to think and write down your responses to these questions.

  1. How have you positively impacted someone who is close to you?  What did you do?
  2. What was their response?
  3. What was the outcome?

This exercise can be a helpful tool for you in your tool box of self-management, to pull out when you are feeling like you don’t matter.  From your responses on this exercise, you clearly do matter.

This is merely a reminder to help you remember that YOU ARE WORTHY.

Many blessings and may the light always shine for you.